Summary and further reading

In this Topic we have explored both the reasons for using solvents and the factors that should be taken into consideration when selecting a reaction solvent, as well as learning about solvent reduction and replacement strategies.  The area of solvent replacement has moved on a lot in the last 5-10 years.  There are a variety of different approaches to alternative solvents currently under investigation, though some are arguably more ‘green’ than others.   All solvent replacement strategies have associated advantages and disadvantages which must be weighed up, and considered within a lifecycle context.  Significant issues affecting the uptake of alternative solvents can be associated with not only cost and availability, but also regulation, lack of safety data on newer solvents and insufficient purity levels for use in cGMP manufacturing.[1] 

Recommended reading

  • W. M. Nelson, Green Solvents for Chemistry: Perspectives and Practice, Oxford University Press, New York, USA, 2003.
  • S. W. Breeden, J. H. Clark, D. J. Macquarrie and J. Sherwood, Green Solvents, in Green Techniques for Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry, W. Zhang and B. Cue, John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester, UK, 2012, ch. 9, pp. 243-262.
  • J. H. Clark, A. J. Hunt, L. Moity and J. Sherwood, Renewable Solvent Selection in Medicinal Chemistry, in Green and Sustainable Medicinal Chemistry: Methods, Tools and Strategies for the 21st Century Pharmaceutical Industry, L. Summerton, H. F. Sneddon, L. C. Jones and J. H. Clark, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2016, ch. 3, pp. 28-40.
  1. C. P. Ashcroft, P. J. Dunn and A. S. Hayler John D and Wells, Survey of Solvent Usage in Papers Published in Organic Process Research & Development 1997–2012, Org. Process Res. Dev., 2015, 19, 740–747.